I've always enjoyed historical fiction that is set during the Civil War. I love history, and that's one of the time periods I've always had an interest in. So I was interested in reviewing A Thousand Shall Fall, a Christian historical fiction novel set during the Civil War.
Carrie Ann lives in Virginia but considers herself an impartial reporter. She's managing her father's newspaper as he's off following the army and recording events. When her younger sister runs away with a peddler of questionable reputation, Carrie Ann follows to rescue her and bring her back. In order to slip through Union lines, she dresses in a Union officer's uniform and heads into the midst of a battle. When she is discovered, she finds herself with a Union officer that she helped to doctor during a previous battle-Peyton Collier. In order to keep her safe, however, he holds her to be tried for impersonating an officer. Carrie Ann's childhood friend shows up in the Union camp as a spy. Carrie Ann has to decide where her loyalties lie- especially as she's falling in love with the Union officer.
The author has accurate historical information about events in the war, making this book an interesting one. There are actual pieces of correspondence sent during the war. It was interesting to read these and to know the setting and events were accurate.
Unfortunately, I didn't like other parts of the book. Perhaps because I'm a Southern girl, I don't like to read Civil War books that are completely anti-South. Yes, there were very negative things about the South during the war. But there were real people beyond the causes on both sides of the war. Some of these people were good, some were bad. Some stood for right...on both sides. A Thousand Shall Fall makes most all of the Southern supporters look really bad and all of the Yankee supporters look really good. I prefer Civil War novels that present good and bad people from both sides.
The other problem I had with the book was that there wasn't much character development. There was action, and there were conversations, but there wasn't much in the way of characters' thinking and introspection that allow the reader to get to know them better. I didn't feel as if I could really get to know Carrie Ann and Peyton.
If you're a Civil War buff, you may enjoy this novel for the historical information and setting. But it wasn't a great one for me. I give this one 3 stars and a G rating for content (although there is a little in the way of violent description of the war). You can find the book on Kregel here or on Amazon here.
Visit As We Walk Along the Road for homeschool support and encouragement.